December has been full of beautiful weather and holiday celebration with kind and wonderful people!
The Rotary Club of Wellington invited me to their Christmas lunch, where we wore paper crowns from Christmas Crackers and sung Kiwi Christmas carols about sunny celebrations on the beach (see lyrics in photo above). It was a great time with a fantastic group of people!
Following weeks of unbelievably beautiful weather, Christmas day brought a big rainstorm. The cold stormy weather felt homey for me, but it was strange for my Kiwi friends. My partner and I spent the day with my advisor’s family, who warmly welcomed us to come eat food and play games with them, and then later we spent some time video chatting with our families. While it is difficult to be away from family during the holidays, I am grateful for technology that allows us to connect so often and in so many fun ways.
A great deal of the work I’ve done this month went into coding my interviews with restorative justice facilitators and participants in anticipation of upcoming writing deadlines. I wrote a blog post with some observations from the process of coding those interviews, which you can read here. I am excited, although somewhat daunted, by the chapter deadlines that loom in front of me in the coming months and am grateful for the many insights I gained through conversations with fellow facilitators as well as people who have been through the process.
I have also continued reading widely on restorative justice this month. One author I have particularly enjoyed this month is Jane Bolitho. For a taste of what I’m reading, check out this blog post on one of Bolitho’s recent works.
Earlier this year, I was appointed to the Advisory Council for that National Association of Community and Restorative Justice (NACRJ). We meet over Zoom every other month to discuss and collaborate on work related to NACRJ. I am a part of the committee responsible for contributing content to the Restorative Well, the newsletter for members of NACRJ. I wrote three pieces for the most recent Restorative Well, which you can read here.
With only a few days left in 2017, I am looking back at the year with immense gratitude for the great adventure of living here, for all that I am learning, for the mentors and friends I have gained here, as well as for the support of people at home in making all this possible. My family has a tradition on Christmas Eve of writing down what we are most grateful for in the past year and what we are looking forward to in the coming year. This year, I didn’t know where to start!